Josh Pollock, co-founder of CalderaWP which was acquired in 2019 by Saturday Drive, has announced a new project he’s working on called Plugin Machine aimed at making WordPress plugin developers’ lives easier. In light of recent conversations in the WordPress community regarding how easy or difficult it is for folks to get into WordPress development, Pollock is developing a tool that takes care of the infrastructure work so developers can focus on coding.
Plugin Machine lays the foundation for developers to add new features to existing plugins, create new plugins, and packaging plugins for release. There’s also a web application developers can use to create and modify plugins in addition to a Command Line Interface and API.
Pollock believes that while larger companies have the finances and time necessary to maintain a boilerplate, many smaller companies do not, even though they need the same thing. This smaller market is what Pollock is aiming to serve.
I am very interested in helping WordPress developers build more stable plug-ins and helping to solve ecosystem-level problems, for example performance issues caused by commercial plugin updates. Developer tooling like I’m interested in building — aimed at engineers, not site builders — is under invested in. It’s a smaller market. I believe the downstream effects are huge for those who serve site builders and spend too much time on bugs, conflicts and word that eats up valuable time and resources that could be spent inviting.Josh Pollock
After tweeting about his new project, he has received a large amount of enthusiasm and hype from the WordPress community.
The reception that Pollock has received indicates he’s on to something and folks are chomping at the bit to try it out. I asked him how it feels to see so many people anxious to check out his work. “I’m super excited by the response,” he said. “This is a fun project for me and seeing that it resonates for a lot of people is really encouraging.”
Plugin Machine is not yet available but the user interface for creating plugins, managing features, modifying generated files, and downloading development versions of plugins is almost complete. A few folks have been able to test it out and Pollock is almost ready to provide early access. If you’re interested in being one of the first to try it out, sign up to his email list at the bottom of his announcement post.